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Knights of St Pat’s round table

Tuesday, 24th February, 2015

(From left) Ken Dennis, Barry Murray, Matty Raven and Roy Stacey all rode at the first St Patrick’s race meeting in 1966. Yesterday the race club invited the esteemed jockeys to officially open the St Pat’s office. (From left) Ken Dennis, Barry Murray, Matty Raven and Roy Stacey all rode at the first St Patrick’s race meeting in 1966. Yesterday the race club invited the esteemed jockeys to officially open the St Pat’s office.

The countdown to Broken Hill’s most eagerly anticipated race day is off and running, especially with the milestone celebrations.

The St Pat’s Race Club is this year holding its 50th meeting and people are travelling from all over Australia for this historic event.

Yesterday the offices were officially opened with a ribbon cutting, carried out by four men who have all played a pivotal role in the history of St Pat’s.

Befitting such an occasion Barry Murray, Ken Dennis, Matty Raven and Roy Stacey were given the job of launching St Pat’s 2015.

It was fitting because all four rode as jockeys at the first meeting on March 19, 1966.

“I remember it well,” Mr Murray said.

“I was booked to ride a horse called Tempered, who was second emergency for the Gold Harp, and when two horses pulled out both my mount and Marist Boy got a start.”

The rest is history as Marist Boy ridden by Ray “Popeye” Anderson went on to win the main race. Tempered with Murray in the saddle finished third.

It is because of this history that the four jockeys were invited to join the 50th anniversary celebrations.

“We want to acknowledge those people who were instrumental in the early days of our club,” Club president Margaret Corradini said.

“With the history of St Pat’s and racing in Broken Hill, all four played such a significant role in our sport.

“We just had to have them involved in some capacity.”

While Broken Hill jockey Ray Anderson won the first Gold Harp with Marist Boy, it was in 1977 that Matty Raven enjoyed the same success when he guided Understanding home.

The win was a special victory because Mr Anderson and Mr Raven are the only two Broken Hill jockeys to win the feature race at St Pat’s.

“It was a career highlight for me,” Mr Raven said.

While Ken Dennis and Roy Stacey may not have won a Gold Harp, both men were highly respected horsemen who tasted plenty of success during their careers.

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